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The Acer Aspire 3 is an okay cheap Windows laptop for basic tasks. While it is a more affordable option, it offers meagre performance and a disappointing Full HD display. With that in mind, it is at least reasonably well-built, and offers a solid amount of connectivity for attaching lots of external devices. The battery life isn’t the best though, so this is a laptop that pales in comparison to the competition.


  • Reasonably sturdy
  • Tactile keyboard
  • Expansive port selection


  • Dated, dual-core processor
  • Middling display
  • Shorter battery life

Key Features

  • 11th Gen Intel Core processor:This Acer Aspire 3 features an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor with two cores and four threads.
  • Wide port selection:It also features a lot of ports, including USB-A, HDMI and Ethernet.
  • 15.6-inch FHD display:This Aspire 3 also comes with a larger display with a 1920×1080 resolution.


The Acer Aspire 3 has often been a middling Windows laptop for a bargain price, and the 2022 edition looks to run with that ‘bargain’ moniker, at least in terms of some of its specs.

It’s powered by a dual-core Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, and comes with 8GB of RAM which can be user-upgraded, as well as a 512GB SSD and a 15.6-inch Full HD display.

Priced at £499.99 in this Intel configuration means it isn’t an expensive laptop, but rather a more affordable Windows choice that’s designed to go toe-to-toe with a lot of excellent Chromebooks.

I’ve been testing this Acer Aspire 3 Intel variation for the last few weeks to see if it’s one of the best Windows laptops in its price bracket that we’ve tested.

Design and Keyboard

  • Sturdy plastic construction with little deck flex
  • Fantastic port selection for the price
  • Comfortable keyboard with sensible layout

The Acer Aspire 3 is entirely plastic. It features a grey, textured finish and feels reasonably sturdy in hand. There are no creaks or unwanted noise under use to suggest it would be cheaply constructed, either. From a distance, you might call it good-looking.

A weight of 1.7kg means it’s on the heavier side for a laptop of its size, although it is still portable enough to sling into a bag when you go on your travels. It also isn’t the thickest of laptops, although it remains slender enough to be in-keeping with modern laptop design in 2024.

On that note, for a laptop of its price, the port selection that the Aspire 3 offers is excellent. The left hand houses a pair of USB 3.0 USB-A ports, as well as HDMI out and an Ethernet jack, as well as a small connector for the power brick.

On the right hand side comes a slower USB 2.0 USB-A port, a headphone jack and Kensington lock. The lack of a dedicated USB-C is a little puzzling, but that’s the only noticeable omission.

Keyboard & Trackpad - Acer Aspire 3 (Intel Dual Core)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The near-full size keyboard is comfortable to use for extended periods, and feels solid for a laptop at this price. It’s tactile and doesn’t feel spongy or hollow, as some cheaper laptop keyboards can. The trackpad is of a reasonable size and is quite responsive, although its buttons aren’t quite as crisp as the keyboard’s scissor-actuated keys.

As for its packaging, the Aspire 3 is in-keeping with Acer’s environmental commitments, coming with no plastic wrap or anything of the sort. The laptop comes in a paper bag with cardboard inserts holding it in place, while the charging brick is contained with its own cardboard compartment. The only piece of plastic in sight is the three-pin plug protector, but otherwise, there isn’t any here.

Screen and sound

  • Full HD resolution is fine for basic workloads
  • Middling colour accuracy and brightness

The Acer Aspire 3 utilises a reasonable display for the price, although it is plagued with the same issues as its predecessor. As much as Acer’s materials suggest an IPS panel, the horrible shift in contrast when moving the panel back and forth suggests this is more of a TN-type screen, which would make sense as a more affordable laptop.

The Full HD resolution is perfectly fine for productivity workloads, and it offered some decent output when viewing the likes of the latest Grand Tour special and some YouTube content from the recent Watches & Wonders exhibition. Viewing angles were okay, although there is a drastic change in contrast when viewing from too extreme of an angle.

Display - Acer Aspire 3 (Intel Dual Core)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

As for its colour coverage, my colorimeter measured a passable 62% of the sRGB colour space, while the Aspire 3 also mustered only 46% of the more specialist DCI-P3 space. This means that colours may not look as natural on the screen as they do in real life. The screen is fairly dull with a peak brightness of 200.4 nits, which is well below the 300-nit average. The meagre 0.29 is meagre also means you’re not getting dazzling contrast here.

The speakers offer a decent amount of volume, although as is typical for more affordable laptop speakers, they do sound quite thin. They don’t offer much in the way of bass or top-end and are mostly full of mids.


  • Meagre performance from a dual-core processor
  • Nippy enough for lighter workloads
  • Larger capacity SSD is excellent

Compared to its contemporaries, the Acer Aspire 3 offers quite an odd mix of specs. For its processor, it sticks with an 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, which features two cores, four threads and a boost clock of 4.1GHz. This is by no means the best laptop chip available, and its benchmark results prove such.

In Geekbench 6, its multi-core score is reflective of the fact this processor only has two cores, although its single-thread performance is at least in line with more expensive laptops with slightly more modern processors such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3, which is perhaps a more important metric of performance with some applications.

Elsewhere, it isn’t impressive in Cinebench R23 either with unimpressive results that show up the pitfalls of a dual-core processor in 2024. The three-figure 3D Mark Time Spy also provides that the Aspire 3 isn’t a laptop designed with intensive workloads in mind, especially with the lack of a discrete GPU.

However, it’s worth putting things into perspective, as benchmarks are only one side of the story. In day-to-day tasks such as web browsing and writing articles in Google Docs and elsewhere, the Aspire 3 felt reasonably nippy and was perfectly suited to more productivity-based workloads. It performed well for lighter tasks, and by using Windows, it isn’t as limited with its use case as with Chromebooks and ChromeOS, for instance.

The 8GB of RAM inside is fine for these lighter workloads, although you can upgrade it to 16GB of RAM, a feature which Acer makes a fair bit of both on the website and on the small sticker on the bottom right of the keyboard deck.

For the price, a 512GB SSD is also fantastic, considering more affordable laptops usually skimp out with 128GB or less. It also offered okay speeds with measured reads of up to 3039.94MB/s and writes of 2181.04MB/s, providing quick enough boot times and access to files.


  • Full-fat Windows 11 is slick and snappy to use
  • Some unwanted bloatware from both Microsoft and Acer

Out of the box, the Acer Aspire 3 ships with full-fat Windows 11, as opposed to offering the restrictive Windows 11 S, which is becoming more commonplace on more affordable Windows laptops. Windows 11 is a clean and slick OS to use, and with it, the Aspire 3 felt nippy and responsive in standard tasks such as opening the Start menu, searching for apps, or trawling through the File Explorer.

Profile - Acer Aspire 3 (Intel Dual Core)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The benefit of proper Windows 11 over the -S variant is the fact you can install apps from anywhere, and you aren’t restricted to just using Microsoft Edge for browsing and the Microsoft Store for installing apps. As much as Windows 11 is reasonably clean however, it comes with some unneeded apps including ExpressVPN, McAfee and some basic games.

Acer also bundles some of its own software on top, including AcerSense which allows for device registration, updating and a quick overview of how much of the system’s resources are being used. It also comes with Acer JumpStart, which provides a shortcut to the Acer website when opened and also serves occasional pop-up adverts.

Battery Life

  • Lasted for 5 hours 43 minutes in the battery test
  • Capable of lasting for one working day

Even at its lower price, the battery life of this Acer Aspire 3 isn’t the most impressive. Acer rates it to last for up to nine hours on a single charge, although in dialling the brightness down to halfway and running the PC Mark 10 battery test, the Aspire 3 posted a result of 5 hours and 43 minutes, which isn’t the best. Power is at least delivered reasonably quickly with a 45W power brick taking 82 minutes to charge the Aspire 3.

You’ll get a day’s worth of work out of the Aspire 3 with some hypermiling and slightly lower brightness, although you will want to keep a charger nearby when the battery gets low. The fact there isn’t any key backlighting is at least a plus point from the perspective of decreasing that runtime even further.

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Should you buy it?

You should buy if you want a cheap laptop with lots of ports

For a laptop at this price, the Acer Aspire 3 offers one of the best port selections I’ve seen in a long time with everything from networking to display and more covered off.

You should not buy if you want fantastic battery life

Where this dual-core Aspire 3 falls down, especially compared to the competition, is with its battery life. In some instances it’s less than half of some of the competition, so if battery life is a top priority, there are better laptops available.

Final Thoughts

The Acer Aspire 3 may not be one of the best laptops out there that we’ve tested, but for its intended purpose of basic workloads with the flexibility of full-fat Windows, it does a reasonable job. It looks good with a silver plastic finish that also feels sturdy, while the extensive port selection is fantastic at this price.

However, it also cuts a lot of corners with a middling display with iffy viewing angles and colour accuracy, even for less intensive workloads. Its Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor is lacking for anything more than basic web browsing, while the battery life falls behind a lot of the similarly-priced competition.

Speaking of competition, for the £500 asking price, you can also delve deep into the Chromebook market and pick out some far better all-round choices, including Acer’s own Chromebook Plus 515. At roughly the same price, you may sacrifice on port selection, but you get a nipper processor with more cores, a backlit keyboard and a much better overall display. The sacrifice there is with ChromeOS, but if it’s something you can live with, it is a better overall choice. For other options, check out our list of the best Windows laptops.

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How we test

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life.

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real-world checks, such as how well it runs popular apps.

We used as our main laptop for at least a week.

Tested the performance via both benchmark tests and real-world use.

We tested the battery with a benchmark test and real-world use.


What processor is inside the Acer Aspire 3 (2022)?

The Acer Aspire 3 here comes with a dual-core Intel Core i3-1115G4, but other Intel and AMD models are available at varying prices.

What is the storage capacity of the Acer Aspire 3?

This Acer Aspire 3 offers a capacity of 512GB, although it can be had with 256GB as well.

Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark 10
Cinebench R23 multi core
Cinebench R23 single core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
3DMark Time Spy
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalDiskMark Write Speed
Brightness (SDR)
Black level
White Visual Colour Temperature
Adobe RGB
PCMark Battery (office)
Battery recharge time

Full specs

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen

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